Waking prior to sunrise on a cold winter’s day, I go outside to Emmy’s mew (enclosure) where she has spent the night dreaming about today’s squirrel hunt. Lifting her from her perch, I place her in a large plastic transport box, known as a giant hood, and load her into the back seat of my truck. I then toss my hawking satchel and walking stick into the truck and we drive off to one of our hunting locations. (more…)
For those of you that follow my various social media accounts (@fishguyphotos), you will notice that during the winter months I frequently post pictures of a red-tailed hawk.
Typically, the hawk in the picture is located on the ground and holding a freshly caught squirrel or rabbit in her sharp talons. At first glance, it appears that I always seem to be at the right place at the right time, capturing a moment in nature that so few of us get to see in person. That feeling of awe quickly turns to disbelief when the next post is a “hawk selfie” or a video of a hawk landing on my hand. Why would such a majestic bird allow me into its world time and time again?
In addition to being the “Fish Guy,” I am a general class falconer and the hawk featured in those posts is my red-tailed hawk Emmy. (more…)
Chris Paparo with his red-tailed hawk, Emmy, on a farm in Baiting Hollow. Mr. Paparo, a licensed falconer, has trained the bird to catch prey and come to him on demand, an activity that dates back thousands of years. Emmy has caught more than two dozen animals so far this falconing season. (Credit: Paul Squire)
High over the wooded hills just north of Lewin Farm in Baiting Hollow, Emmy the red-tailed hawk sits in her tree, watching me intently. Somehow, I sense her disapproval as the thick underbrush snags on my jeans and jacket. I fumble my way out of the thorns. (more…)